Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Meet Amy

Amy arrived almost a week faster than we had anticipated.

Leah wanted the doll with earrings.  It came with one pair in and six additional pairs.

Beautiful red curly hair, blue eyes and the earrings.

I told Leah I wanted a shot with her introducing Saila and Amy to each other.  Leah said, 'They already know each other.  They both used to attend West High, but then Saila's family moved here.  They have kept in contact with each other and now Amy's family has moved.  They are both gymnastics majors and this is a good place to learn."  Apparently Leah has thought about this a little bit:)  Dave asked, "So, gymnastics is a major now?"

So excited.  Leah did a lot of chores and babysitting to earn this.  She was very happy that she did not have YW yesterday, so she could stay home and play with her new doll. Cora is excited because now they can play together.  And yes I am totally aware of the strangeness that my girls in YW are playing with dolls.  Oh well!!

At 6:10 this morning Blake yells down the stairs. "Cora!.......Cora!!!"
"Hmmmm.  Whaaa"
"Mom says that we don't have to get up until 6:30 today"

Saturday, May 24, 2014


My husband is pretty much the awesomest person ever.  He has recently got a promotion at work. Quite a big one.  He is excited about the new challenge, but it has been a LOT of work.  Many, many overtime hours talking to people all over the world, sorting things out.  I asked him to give me some things that I could do around here to lighten his load.  So he wrote up a list like I asked.  Ever year my awesome husband gets our yard summer ready, then the kids and  I keep it up.  Seriously I did not realize how much he did. And what a boring, hot, tedious, long, mundane job it is.  He picks all the weeds out of our gravel by hand, and stick too. I grew up picking up sticks around our house and in the fields.  I hated it.  I would way rather do it there then in the rocks.  He turns over all the soil in the garden and flower beds.  Sprays round up and gets the mowers ready.  He makes it looks so easy.  He said I could sand the ceiling in prep to paint.  Lets remember that my husband it a foot and a half taller than me.  He moves a stool around with his foot from place to place and sands.  I have to climb a ladder, do a bit, down, move ladder, back up, do a bit on and on.  Takes forever.  Again looks easy when he does it.  We are not big soccer people, but it is Blake's sport of choice.  He loves it above all else.  Every game that Dave does not have high council he is there.  I know he is thinking of the never ending list of things he could be doing, but he know it is important to Blake so he attends.  He knows there will always be work but not always a little boy that wants his Dad at his games.  Dave is an awesome Dad.  We were talking about the word busy the other day and both agreed that we really don't like the word.  We are not busy, just have a lot going on.  Yet everything we do is a choice.  We chose to put Blake in soccer, we chose to run cows, we chose to build a house, we chose to say yes to our church callings.  It kinda bugs me when people tell me how busy they are, or that they think we are busy.  This is our life decisions.  If we can't manage them we need to scale back or make different choices.  Dave is very good at managing his time.  He really is awesome.  He love his children and shows it.  He loves me.  That is not always easy.  I may be a little opinionated:)  He loves the farm and working with his hands. He loves his siblings and mom.  I know he misses his dad very much, he had a great example there. I'm not sure how I got lucky enough to be chosen by him, but he is my Mr. Awesome. 

We spent the day helping my mom serve a luncheon for 100 people today.  She asked that the girls and I come help.  Blake came also.  He cut up a ton of green onions, very teary eyed he asked grandpa if he could have another job for a while.  After we went and watched the cousins briefly play Youth Day.  I miss Youth Day.  It was always such a highlight.  I told the kids how I used to roll down this big hill.  They decided they need to give it a try.  A few times.  Dresses and all.
Cora is the only one that likes apple juice in the family.  I keep it for when we are sick and for her to drink.  The other day she put it in the freezer and we forgot about it.  Leah had a straw from a birthday party (I never buy straws, they irritate me) so Cora took it and had her own personal giant drink box. 

We ordered Leah's doll the other day.  As agreed we paid the shipping.  I knew to Canada it was going to be a bit, that is why we said we would.  Turns out it was 3X what I had thought it would be.  A few days later Leah was excited to share the news with her dad.
Dave: Leah you know that doll cost us more to get here then it did for us to bring you home from the hospital.
Leah: Really?
Dave: Yes, she cost more to get home than you did
Char: Yeah, but Leah definitely costs more now.
Dave: That is because we are buying her dolls.

Sorry my posts have been so long lately.  I try to sum up.  Maybe I should blog more often.  Hope I have not bored anyone to tears.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I'm Baaaack!!  Thanks to Myrna we have a keyboard again.  She had an old one hanging around. I really was not looking forward to shopping for one since I don't know that much about them.  Here is a little synopsis of what has been going on.  Cora had track and field.  She did well. One first, two Seconds, and one Third.  Cora does not really enjoy track and did not want me taking any pictures.  Blake is still going strong in soccer.  He plays quite well and really loves it.  Leah had her talent show.  A month ago they had try outs and she was very excited to hear she got in. Leah and her friends have been spending many noon hours practicing.  There was another friend on the keyboard but I couldn't fit her in the picture with them. Of course they played and sang 'Let it Go' from Frozen:)  Leah had a sore throat and was not happy with her performance, but I thought they did very well. Also this week Kristin had her baby girl.  I have a new little niece named Ava.  Can't wait to meet her.
After school Thursday I took the kids shopping for summer clothes.  I was getting very frustrated not being able to find long enough shorts and dresses for them.  When we got home I checked out the J C Penny and Target sites.  Both had long shorts.  I had planned on maybe going state side on the holiday Monday, but it said all sales ended Sunday night.  Dave was at the farm so I called and talked to him about it.  I met him at work early in the morning to get a note to take the kids across the border. (He was not able to come with us)  As soon as Cora got home from seminary we left.  I was very pleasantly surprised how well they all traveled.  Leah and Blake had been at each other for two days before hand, and I was nervous to stick them in a car together.  It was a very successful trip.  I was a little nervous since my phone does not work in the states.  I had no way of contacting anyone if anything went wrong, but we made it. Cora did not find any shorts ordresses, but we got everything else we needed.  Blake only got a little cranky during the girls swimsuit shopping.  Understandably. Cora found one dress that she loved.  I really did not like it that much until she put it on.  It was the perfect dress for her.  Made for her.  Only it was an inch to short.  The dress had a handkerchief hem and so you could barely tell, but it was.  To put a lengthening thing on would have ruined it.  It killed us to walk away from that dress:(  The next day we attended a Jamberry Party at Rachel's.  Cutest nail stuff ever.  So many many cute designs.  I would have loved to have gotten at least 8 of them.  Since Lalainia was down for the Jamberry party we all went to the farm for dinner Sunday.  It was a very delicious dinner, and we stayed way to late talking with everyone.  It is a good thing that today is a holiday.  We may not have made it up in time for anything.  We had a pretty rough night.  Dave had really bad heartburn and couldn't sleep, he thinks he had too much rich cheesecake.  I started to not feel well and threw up, a couple hours later finally got back to sleep.  Perfectly fine this morning it was weird.  Leah had a bad dream and couldn't get back to sleep.  Cora thinks she was over tired.  She said she was staring at the ceiling at 1:30 wondering why in the world she was awake.  Blake slept peacefully all night long.  Anyways we had a little sleep in this morning.

Dave has been working hard on getting this ceiling fixed.  Last week we got it all scrapped.  He did a lot of it Saturday then headed to the farm to check cows.  I was hoping to get the rest done as a surprise for him and had just finished when he pulled up. My big projects today were to clean the shower, the oven, and Leah's room.  We have figured Leah does get her room clean it is just a very different system then mine.  Same end resultt.  I am trying to let her find her own way of doing things but it takes sooooo much longer it is frustrating.  But after a couple hours she did get it done today.

Dave was not satisfied how this was fixed the first time.  He said it had a sag in it.  When he is done the ceiling we will paint walls, spray the ceiling and put up the trim in the basement.  Then the For Sale sign goes up.  Kinda a scary thought.  After the kids got their chores done, they have been painting, jumping on the tramp in the rain, and playing games together.

Now I just have to decided what to do my lesson on for FHE tonight.  Hummmm???

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

I knew my dear hardworking husband had not been to town for probably at least a month. (Except last Saturday when I was with him and we nipped into town to get trim.)  So I knew not to expect anything for Mother's Day.  I am pretty sure that he didn't even know it was coming up until Blake brought me a planted flower home from school on Friday.  He knows that I really wanted a Bosch, and when I mentioned  to him that they were on sale for Mother's Day, he told me to go to town and get it, but I could not bring myself to put down the money for it.  There were however a couple of other things that I had been eyeing that also happened to be on sale this weekend (store people must know we are all suckers for a sale:) and so I decided to pick them up.  This is the most amazing cheese grater ever.  It does vegetables and cheese.  You plug it in and push the button and it is all dishwasher safe.  We grated a ton of cheese, just because we could, in a matter of minutes.  Very easy clean up.
I am really enjoying this book.  It is very interesting to me to see the background and reasoning behind some of their traditions.  It was 1/2 the price at Costco than it was anywhere else.
I use chalk all the time when I sew.  To mark stitches, pleats, zipper, make a pattern bigger or smaller, or just trace a pattern.  I was getting very low.  Leah got me some more for Mother's Day.
My friend makes these flower earrings that I love.  I have quite a few of them.  I had a few more colors I wanted to get.  At school Blake can earn tacks for doing good things, having agendas signed, cleaning desks, etc.  After a certain number they get to pick a prize.  I guess Mandy has been donating to the prize bucket.  Blake has been hard at work earning tacks so he could get me these earrings.  I was very impressed with the observation of my two kids and the effort they took to get something for me.  I did end up picking up the chalk for Leah since Dave never went to town.  She was disappointed about that. But I thought they were both very thoughtful.
I decided to make some of my favorites for my meal.  I cut the steak very thin, marinated it, then Dave and I wove it on to skewers and he BBQed it.  Asparagus was cooked perfectly and I enjoyed the left overs in my omelet for breakfast this morning.
Black Forest Cheesecake.  Definitely a keeper.  Really really good.
After dinner everyone did dishes for me.  When we get together with the Smith's my mom will round up all the teenage girls and have them pick a job.  Wash, Rinse, Dry or Put away. As the adults put the food away and take care of other things the teenagers do the dishes.  I love that my mom has got them in on helping.  That is were we usually have our best chats, all helping together and laughing and teasing.  Pretty soon the moms will be able to sit and relax after dinner and the girls will do all the work.  I love this training and right of passage that they go through.  Growing and maturing and taking on more responsibility.  Anyways I got sidetracked, so that is what my kids and husband did yesterday also.  Everyone picked a chore and they were done so fast.

After they filled both sinks with soapy water and played.  I thought it was funny that my teenagers and Blake were playing with bubbles in the sink like little kids.  They had a blast.

I read my awesome book for a while, then we decided to go for a little walk.  Turned into an almost 2 hour walk.  It was such a beautiful day, we just kept walking and walking.  Dave came home to discover a very flat tire on his car, he fixed that and the kids jumped on the tramp.  At bedtime Cora asked Dave to give her a blessing.  She started PAT's today and was a little nervous. She is like me and hates to ask.  I always feel so needy when I ask for a blessing.  I know we need the Lord's help and that is why blessings are available, but I always feel funny asking for them.  But I am trying to teach my kids that a blessing is not just for them, it can also be for the person giving the blessing.
It was a really nice Mother's Day. Thank you to the great example I had and do have in my mom and sister.  And for the wonderful mother-in-law I have. For the great way that she raised the perfect husband for me. Happy Mother's Day

PS.  Our keyboard has gone kaput. Dave has borrowed one from work so I could blog today, but it has to go back tomorrow.  So if you don't hear from me for a while, we are looking for one and will be back sometime.:)

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Funeral for a Ruler and Beyond 5

A few days ago, Cora came home from school in a really giggly mood.  Her best friend has had the same ruler for years at school and the other day it broke.  Meghan was pretending to cry about it, Cora was sniffling with her and said we should have a funeral.  The teacher left the classroom and a few minutes later came back with a shovel and a box.  He wiped the blackboard clean and started making lists.  He assigned a priest, pallbearers, and someone to do the eulogy.  They all went to the back of the school, dug a hole and had a funeral for the ruler.  Cora said it was the funnest spur of the moment thing.  The whole class really got into it and had all these crazy things to say about this ruler.  It was one of those moments where I just shook my head at her and hope she always remembers the crazy, wacky things she did growing up.  I love that the teacher got right into with everyone and played along.  I love that her friends do stupid things and make each other laugh. She is building memories.

Tuesday the Junior High/High School and Grade 6 students had a band come to the high school.  I had not heard of them before.  It was the group Beyond 5.  The girls loved their music.  Cora said they all seemed pretty young, then one of them said something (for the life of her she can't remember what, sure wish she did) and Cora thought, that is not something normal people say.  Whatever is was made her sure that they were LDS.  It was a great concert, afterwards Cora and Leah got to meet them and chat with them for a while.  Cora wasn't brave enough to ask, last time she did it didn't go well, so she had Tyson ask if they were LDS.  Turns out 4 of the 5 are.  They are from Utah and California.  They had to audition for this group.  The man putting it together wanted to have an uplifting boy band for people to listen to.  Not just do christian music, but sing all over.  Beyond 5 has recently got back from a tour in Asia.  They said they start each morning with a devotional and end the day with prayer.  Blake had walked over so he could walk home with his sisters after school. They were all still there. Blake is very chatty with strangers and he also talked with them for a few minutes. When the band found out that the three they were talking to were also from the same church, they invited them to attend a fireside they were doing that evening.  Cora really really wanted to go.  I was very tempted to take them, but they had YW's that night.  Kinda wish I would have taken them tho.  They also gave a concert last night in town, but Cora had her first youth conference this weekend and couldn't go again.

Cora has not been to excited to go to the youth dances.  She has only been to one since she turned 14.  Last night she was getting really nervous and kinda silly since she didn't want to go.  She ended up having a super time.  She was a little sad that no one asked her to dance.  I guess everyone just does a big group dance, not really asking any one particular, except the slow dances.  There is our stake and another that get together for the Youth Conference.  She got back at midnight and left this morning again at 7.  Cora was really excited to go back again today.  Blake has gone to the farm with Dave and Leah is supposed to be doing chores.  So far not much there.  She is going babysitting for a few hours this afternoon, then to the stake center for a song practice.  I have a lot of Primary stuff to do.  I am making invites for Priesthood Preview and a stake Activity Day Girls event coming up.  Making lots of phone calls about both of those.  Getting ready for the Mother's Day activity we are doing for Sharing Time tomorrow.  Plus run, laundry, and clean house.  But I will have hours of quiet all by myself this afternoon.  Oh what to do.....??  I just got a book called 'Secrets from a Hutterite Kitchen' that I am anxious to start.  Perhaps if everything else gets done I can do that:)

I hope everyone has a really wonderful Mother's Day tomorrow!!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo

Love me a good taco.
When I saw these mint chocolate chip cupcakes on Pinterest the icing was made to look like ice cream on top.  That is actually what drew me to them.  But in order to make that shape I had to put on so much icing that it made me a little nausea just to think about eating it.  It was suggested to make a chocolate ganache to fill it and I did.  Very good, but not sure I like the mini chips in my icing.  (Which is strange because I love the cookie dough brownies I make???) I may just stick with mint chocolate chip ice cream:)

We had a spectacular weekend.  It was cold and a little snowy. Friday we went up to celebrate Emry's upcoming birthday.  Nice evening there.  Saturday Dave got the kitchen and eating area ceiling scrapped.  We ran into town and got the trim for the basement.  Back again to drove Cora off to a movie and me to a baptism.  Then back later to pick her up.  Sunday was off to Calgary for Cadence's blessing.  It was a beautiful blessing and really nice to be together with everyone afterwards.  Right after school today, Leah got right in and did some chores voluntarily.  She mowed front and back, weed wiped, swept the cement pad and picked up sticks.  She has been working so hard and doing so good we have decided to pay the shipping for her on the doll.  Maybe a couple more weeks and she will be able to order it.  Just as she was done mowing and we sat down to eat we saw this wonderful rainbow out our window.  Not very often you see the whole arch.
If I zoomed to close you couldn't see the whole thing.  Look close.  You could see every color.  What an amazing world we live in.  In all its beauty.